We are home & let the rumors fly

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Postby bikerman » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:07 am

I for one, hope the format of the event does not change. I looked forward to the challenge and worked to make sure I enjoyed every mile. The hours on the bike and at the gym for the last 8 months are what really made it special. Riding your bike 70 miles a day up some big hills is not super human, but it does take some pre-ride dedication. If you into biking for the camaraderie, there are plenty of day rides which start at a coffee house and end at a pub. If you are looking to get to some distant scenery, there is always your car and a bike rack. When I get back to my desk the Monday after, I want to feel that I have done something that the guy/girl in the next cubical couldn’t just do on a whim. I hope CO doesn’t give in to the pressures of the” lowest common denominator” which seems to be creeping into just about all aspects of our society these days. BTW- Great ride.
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Postby suziqt » Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:29 pm

Quote from Rickey: 1st There was a backlog on the waiting list who wanted to do the ride. So next year the complainers go to Tahiti and let the real cyclist ride. 2nd maybe the sign should say 19 hundred cyclist on the road and 100 cry babies. 3rd if CO changes it to 375 miles The Oregon Randonneurs could use it as weekend ride.


GEE, "RICKEY" HOW DO YOU REALLY FEEL?? :shock:
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Last edited by suziqt on Fri Sep 21, 2007 6:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby David R » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:13 pm

900 new riders, and most of them won't be back because they said the ride was too hard. Crater Lake sold out this ride, the last two years were not sold out. Many riders who have done 10 or more CO's have dropped out because at age 70 they can't do the climbs any more. Our average age is up from 46 to 49. Now if you are on the board and you are faced with this evidence, what kind of a decision are you going to make? One that favors the average demografic of your rider, (newbie rider closing in on retirement) or one that favors elites athalete (some one who rode 490 miles at an average speed of 18 and was top 50 into camp every day).

While I personaly fall into the second catagory, I'd like to see CO reduce the climbs so that my elder friends will come back to CO and ride with me again. After all I can allways ride back up the road to gain milage. In fact if you want some real entertainment, ride 15 miles against traffic and do some people watching.


Other questins the board has to take into mind, how many riders actualy rode around Crater Lake and how many actualy rode the extra 12 miles at the end of day 4.
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Postby MarkG » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:21 pm

All of this griping about the ride is surprising to me. It was my first CO; the ride surpassed all of my expectations; I live in relatively flat Florida yet had no problem with the hills and I did the Crater Lake loop; and I'm over 50.

I'll definitely be back.
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CO 2007

Postby valapple » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:24 pm

It was epic, I suffered, I'm glad I did, I had 3000 flatlander base miles and still had to dig really deep on most days. CO for the 4th time and it still changes me, coming back to the grind after a week of bliss with you all.

Alot of people can't do what we did for a million reasons....money, illness, obesity, self esteem, fear, paralysis.

Celebrate and go home with a warm heart and encourage someone to get a bike. Gas Sucks....Ride a Bike. (Did ANYONE notice my socks on day 1 ?)

Pedal Safe.
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Postby Force 5 Robert » Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:41 pm

David R wrote:
Other questins the board has to take into mind, how many riders actualy rode around Crater Lake and how many actualy rode the extra 12 miles at the end of day 4.


No gipes from me - my 2nd CO and I loved every second of it - in fact I am sad that it was OVER so quickly. :(

I rode the Crater Lake loop - simply incredible time. I did not though do the extra 12 miles on day 4 - I was pretty toasted by then but still came in that day with just under 17 MPH average for that day.

Is it September 08 YET????????

:)
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Postby Slingshot » Thu Sep 20, 2007 9:50 pm

Our average age is up from 46 to 49. Now if you are on the board and you are faced with this evidence, what kind of a decision are you going to make? One that favors the average demografic of your rider, (newbie rider closing in on retirement) or one that favors elites athalete (some one who rode 490 miles at an average speed of 18 and was top 50 into camp every day).


If I were looking at the demographic information I would be thinking how to attract the next generation of CO devotees... The majority of the 900 new riders didn't like the ride? I find this hard to believe based on anecdotal evidence I gathered in the beer garden... Most of the folks I talked to loved the ride and were grateful to have the experience. I didn't see but a few elite athletes on the ride and they were complaining how easy it was

:wink:
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Postby StarlightPurpleIF » Fri Sep 21, 2007 5:48 am

"900 new riders, and most of them won't be back because they said the ride was too hard."

Since the route is different every year anyone who comes to that conclusion is not making sense, IMO. Because they considered this year too hard they wouldn't come nack next year if, say, the route is 25% shorter and there is 50% less climbing?
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Postby slv0700 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 8:31 am

2004 to 2007 seem to have been good routes; CO will always make
every ride a challenge no matter what route they do; wait for the next route print-out and enjoy the next challenge! I like it just the way
it is.
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Postby David R » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:04 am

Every one on the forum always likes the rides just the way they are. This dosn't change the fact that the majority of new riders don't repeat the ride. Regardless of what you hear in the beer garden the repeat rate at CO is shrinking and we are not attracting younger riders. It appears to be the boards opinion that making the ride a little easier will attract more repeat riders. This dose not mean that there won't be challenging options for those who want a challenge. It does meant that there will be easier options. The fact that less than 50% of the riders did the Crater Lake loop and less than 10% did the 12 mile option says that the ride was too hard for 50-90% of the riders. Only 2% of the riders reversed directions on the course to put in more miles.

CO is faced with a decision, do they shrink the size and keep it at an epic/elite status, or do they make changes that encourage a greater body of vacationers.
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Route for next year

Postby bfuller24 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 10:26 am

I live in California. I come to Cycle Oregon for the spirit of the ride and the adventure. Not knowing about the routes and riding new rides every day is what I really appreciate. I am confident the Board of Directors and all involved will come up with a route that is at once challenging, scenic, safe and doable. The challenge for all suppliers of group events like this is to balance the pressure from the existing clientelle to keep it the same and the pressure to find new participants by making changes. I think the organizers have always struck a nice balance and it is up to all of the adult riders to exercise judgement to make sure the ride that is chosen is not too much for theri individual skill/fitness levels. I trained more for last year's route and found it easier. Had a layofff during April May and June of this year so this year's route was harder. Feel like this year's route now has my "form" back to a respectable place for riding the balance of this year and to start strong next.
THANKS CYCLE OREGON FOR ANOTHER GREAT ADVENTURE.
Brad "already excited about next year" Fuller
Stronger today than yesterday but not as strong as tomorrow.
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Postby blueskies » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:08 pm

David R wrote:Every one on the forum always likes the rides just the way they are. This dosn't change the fact that the majority of new riders don't repeat the ride. Regardless of what you hear in the beer garden the repeat rate at CO is shrinking and we are not attracting younger riders. It appears to be the boards opinion that making the ride a little easier will attract more repeat riders. This dose not mean that there won't be challenging options for those who want a challenge. It does meant that there will be easier options. The fact that less than 50% of the riders did the Crater Lake loop and less than 10% did the 12 mile option says that the ride was too hard for 50-90% of the riders. Only 2% of the riders reversed directions on the course to put in more miles.

CO is faced with a decision, do they shrink the size and keep it at an epic/elite status, or do they make changes that encourage a greater body of vacationers.


I disagree with your conclusions. I was a first time rider, and hadn't ridden much more than the Bridge Pedal in over 15 years. I started training the day after I signed up, and I loved this ride.

There are many reasons that first time riders don't return, and the difficulty of the route is just one. Many riders with families have limits on the amount of vacation time that they will take on their own. Some people want to have one epic challenge, and then go on to something else. The difficulty in attracting younger riders is probably due to them having less money, younger children, and more demands on their time.

Finally, if many people chose not to do the extra options, that doesn't say that the ride was too hard. It might say that the ride is just right. I didn't do the 12 mile option, although I definitely felt that I could have, because I knew there were 3 more days with significant climbs coming up. I wanted to save my legs, and I wanted to enjoy some time at Dorena Lake.

The only part of this whole ride that I heard anyone complain about was the descent on the ride to Dorena Lake. I heard some amount of grumbling that it just wasn't right to have such a treacherous descent on the ride.

This ride was very challenging to me, and I had tears in my eyes on top of many of the passes. And they weren't tears of suffering, they were tears of joy, because I was so damn proud of myself.

When I saw a sag wagon unloading bikes & riders at the top of Mackenzie Pass, I had no resentment against the people who had sagged to the top. They would see the same view that I would, but they sure wouldn't feel the same feelings that I did.

I wouldn't do it again if it was watered down. To me, saying I did Cycle Oregon means something. I wouldn't want to lose that.
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Postby MarbleMtn » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:21 pm

We planned to do the 12 miles more on the Diamond Lake to Cottage Grove day, but being stuck on top of the pass for 1 1/2 hrs prevented that. This is not a complaint about the delay on top. That was frustrating but understandable, just is one reason less people did the full century that day.

Clyde
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Postby MarkG » Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:47 pm

Doesn't the fact that there were 900 first timers this year indicate that CO is already doing a good job of attracting new riders?
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Postby slv0700 » Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:19 pm

Blueskies: My words exactly !!!! CO always has 700 and more new
first time riders. They always have a good turn out even if people don't
always go again. Luckily, they don't all repeat---it would make it harder
for new people to get a chance to ride. I think the route's that are chosen
are great; like people say, train hard enough and hope your engine is
well enough tuned. Just because someone says the ride was hard,
doesn't mean CO should make it easier. Yes, you sure feel like you have
accomplished something when you finish. There is no shame in sagging
if you get tired. I don't sag, but if I needed to, I would. I am glad they
don't have that old rule of "two sags and you're out" anymore. The sag
drivers are sooooo nice. I think having so many new riders each year
is a great compliment to CO !! CO, YOU KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK !!!!
GREA JOB !!!!
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